If a nation does not know its history, if the country loses its history, then its citizens have nowhere to go.
Mirzhakyp Dulatuly

The story of one photo. Zhirov’s family

The story of one photo. Zhirov’s family  - e-history.kz

April 21, 2015

In May, 2015 entire country will celebrate 70th anniversary of the Victory in the Great Patriotic War. This holiday is special for every person as a tribute to the memory and deep respect of people of the senior generation, everything who heroically, selflessly approached long-awaited day of the Great Victory.

The war affected every family and each person. It separated the world into two parts "front" and "rear".

I would like to introduce the story about my great-grandfather and my great-grandmother. It is impossible to write about one of them as they were — a single whole. They are pride of our family. We always remember and love them.


Alexander Zhirov and Claudia Zhirova 

I never saw my great-grandfather, but I know a lot about him from stories of my grandmother and mother.

My great-grandfather Alexander Zhirov was born on December 16, 1918. From the first days of war he protected our homeland. He served as technician-mechanic in an aviation regiment. It was very responsible work because pilots’ lives and success of fight depended on his work. Somehow he said that his profession saved him life as regiments were not based on a front line.

He did not like to tell about war, it was very difficult to him, but often he remembered how it was difficult to lose fellow soldiers. He finished war in Konigsberg. As a result of work the main forces of German groups were crushed. 

About eighty four thousand German military personnel were taken prisoner, about forty two thousand were killed, more than two thousand tools, about one thousand six hundred mortars and hundred twenty eight planes were taken.



The grandfather has a medal "For a Capture of Konigsberg". He also was awarded by medals: "For Military Merit", "For Victory over Germany", "Order of Patriotic War" of 2 degrees. In a peace time — "For development of virgin lands".


Veteran's awards 

I was born when he already passed away, but I will always remember about him.




Our family has a senior, wise, respected and dear great-grandmother. My great-grandmother, Claudia Zhirova was born in 1923 in a large family. She was the youngest of nine children among of whom only four managed to survive. 

When the war began she was graduated of pedagogical college. She was called to the military commissariat and suggested to become a defender of the homeland. So the great-grandmother came to school of radio operators of aviation regiment. This school prepared pilots, shooter and radio operators. Her specialty was "shooter — radio operator" after her graduation of this school. 

She knew Morse code very well. My great-grandmother with her girlfriends was trained for sending to fighting regiments. She did not participated in military operations because when the Soviet army began approach there was an order of command — not to send girls to the front. She was sent to work in military registration and later to school. It was hard time there was no light, they studied at the lamps and there were no textbooks. She taught mathematics, physics and in peace time worked as a teacher of primary school. To be a teacher was her calling. She was awarded the badge "For Hard Work". Also she was elected the deputy of local council. My great-grandmother has awards "Worker of Rear" and medal "Veteran of Work". My great-grandmother had difficult life, raised three children, went through difficult military time and worked during the post-war recovery period also in peace time.




Now she is 91 years old. She is old, blind and very weak, but still as teacher tries to help her great-grandsons. She really loves mathematics. We are so proud that we have such remarkable great-grandparents. 

Everything will be remained in the history: sufferings, destruction and hunger. Our generation has opportunity to know about war from memories of those who still alive. Today, we are grandchildren and great-grandchildren of veterans and workers of rears. And link between generations will never interrupt, and female feat during the war will be always worthy of admiration and pride of the younger generation.

Dmitry Krasnobayev

Pupil of 9th grade of school No. 19,

Ust-Kamenogorsk, East Kazakhstan region